From Washington Journal April 3, 2009.
Parts 2-4 below the fold.
From Washington Journal April 3, 2009.
Parts 2-4 below the fold.
President Barack Obama's wife choked up as she addressed girls at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, north London, where her visit brought screams of excitement.
In my opinion this little clip gives us yet another example of what a transformational couple the Obamas have become in the world. In what could easily have been contrived for the cameras, the sense is that something genuine and real is happening, not faked. And as seen in this clip, Michelle Obama's message is especially resonant with young women and girls of color.
Earlier this week Gallup released their Favorable numbers for both the President and First Lady and for the first time she has scored higher than her husband. While this isn't unusual for most wives of Presidents, it does represent a milestone of sorts for Michelle Obama. Barely a year ago talking heads were bleating about her being a liability to her husband's campaign, that her outspokenness was a distraction in the middle of grueling primaries. And just a year ago the famous line,
"For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback"
...made headlines, twisted all out of shape into something sinister and decidedly un-American by a compliant press. Painted as "the angry black woman" her disapproval numbers shot up.
Now, however, with 72% of Americans having a favorable opinion and only 17% an unfavorable one she is likely the most highly regarded woman in America. Or at least up there with Oprah. Perhaps most surprising is that more Republicans now have a favorable opinion of Michelle Obama than unfavorable. The same cannot be said for her husband.
It is quite likely Michelle Obama will become the most admired woman in the world soon, if she isn't already. That is good for the Obama's but, after the last eight years, is a great thing for the United States.
From The Daily Show April 2, 2009. John Oliver explains the real reason you cannot touch the queen.
From The Newshour with Jim Lehrer April 2, 2009. John Boehner is suddenly now concerned about fiscal responsibility with his criticism of the Democratic budget. Never mind the debt that was run up under the Bush administration for things like invading other countries that weren't a threat to us and war profiteering. Never mind tax cuts that never trickle down and enrich those at the top. Now that the spending is needed to keep our country out of a depression, Boehner is concerned about the debt being left to future generations. His talk about bi-partisanship after the way he and his fellow Republicans ran the House of Representatives is also laughable.
KWAME HOLMAN: Leader Boehner, thank you for joining us.
Leader Boehner, you and other Republicans on both sides of the Capitol have looked at this budget that the Democrats are moving today in the House, that is a reflection of what President Obama has called for, and railed against it. What's wrong with what they're proposing?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-Ohio, House minority leader: Well, I don't know where I should begin.
The first problem is it spends too much. When you look at the level of spending in this budget, it will make President Bush look like a piker. And I and other Republicans felt like we spent too much during the Bush years. But this budget, at some $3.6 trillion for next year, will be the largest expansion of our government in our history.
Secondly, it taxes too much. There are some $2 trillion worth of taxes in this proposal that will tax every American. Not only do we have higher taxes for capital gains and the top rate and bringing the death tax back in full force, but we have this national energy tax.
You know, they like to call it cap-and-trade. But what it does is that it taxes energy. And so, if you drive a car or turn on a light switch, or you have byproducts that use a lot of energy, everybody's going to pay this tax.
But it's not just the tax that's so onerous. It's the millions of American jobs that I believe will be at risk because our competitors around the world don't have such a policy. And so you'll see products coming in from China and India and elsewhere that will make our products made here more expensive relative to theirs.
And so you've got higher spending. You've got higher taxes. And then you get to the real whammy, and that's the national debt.
President Obama's budget will double the national debt in the next five years. It will triple the national debt in the next 10 years, given their projections.
This is unacceptable. I think it will imprison our kids and grandkids. It will slow our economy. It will slow job growth in America. It's just not, in my opinion, not the way to proceed.
Stephen talks to Twitter co-founder Biz Stone about how Twitter got started and where they may be heading with their business model.
Someone's got a crush on the First Lady. Don't tell the President...lol. From The Cafferty File:
First Lady Michelle Obama is even more popular than her husband, who has a hefty majority of Americans supporting him. A new Gallup poll show’s the first lady’s favorable rating at 72 percent compared to 69 percent for the president.
Also, Michelle Obama’s unfavorable ratings are much lower than the president’s — 17 percent for her versus 28 percent for him.
What a difference a year makes… On the campaign trail last winter and spring, Michelle Obama was at times considered a political liability. Some portrayed her as an “angry black woman,” while others didn’t like the way she talked about things like her husband’s dirty socks. And many questioned Michelle’s patriotism when she said she only recently became proud of her country.
But all that has changed… Another recent poll shows the first lady’s favorability ratings are up 28 percent since the summer. The most striking part of the Michelle “surge” is that she’s made the biggest gains among Republicans who viewed her negatively last year.
People are drawn to this woman; she is the real thing, and they get it. They like her focus on children and family, her devotion to her own daughters and husband, her visits to schools, soup kitchens, federal agencies, and her planting of the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt.
Michelle Obama is rapidly moving to displace a couple of the more revered women of our recent past. The British media are positively beside themsevles over Mrs. Obama’s visit; and they know something about how to get beside themselves. They are comparing our new first lady to both Princess Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy. Actually, she’s cooler than either of them.
Here’s my question to you: What’s behind Michelle Obama’s remarkable surge in popularity?
David Shuster is moving to a new time slot but as he reports tonight his Hypocrisy Watch will still be a feature on the new show. Shuster takes Rove to task for having the nerve to accuse the President Obama of "playing politics" and claims he's worried about the White House wielding power responsibly. Pot meet kettle.
Rob Nabors, Deputy Director for Management and Budget, gives his no-nonsense take on the so-called Republican alternative budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
DNC leader Tim Kaine was just as dismissive yesterday.
"The House GOP budget would be just an April Fool’s day joke if it didn’t actually reflect the true priorities of House Republicans and what they would do if they had the votes in Congress to pass their own plan. Their budget relies on the failed economic policies that drove the U.S. economy into its deepest spiral in decades," he said in a statement.
"If House Republicans had their way and the budget they outlined today were adopted, President Obama’s economic recovery program, which is already saving and creating jobs throughout the country, would be gutted, Medicare as we know it would all but be all but eliminated, Social Security checks would be slashed and a proposed spending freeze on discretionary programs would cut essential services – from health care and support for veterans to education to job training - that Americans most depend on when the economy is in crisis."
The Wall Street Journal gave the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee high visibility to feature their nonsense yesterday, an April Fool's joke.
Matthews gets another one wrong. From Hardball April 1, 2009 and no, it's not an April Fools joke. TPM Muckraker has more:
Just now, the MSNBC anchor, opining on the news that DOJ is dropping the charges in the Ted Stevens case, declared that the decision means "the charges should never have been brought, there should never have been a prosecution."
Um, no. The Justice Department made clear that it was dropping the case because of prosecutorial missteps -- specifically the failure to hand over a key piece of evidence to defense lawyers. The decision has almost no bearing on the merits of the underlying case against Stevens, who was convicted last fall of failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollar in gifts from an oil-services contractor.
From The Colbert Report April 1, 2009.
The Fine Line is a new index that is just as meaningless as the Dow Jones, but it always goes up.